Credentials qualify Paul unequivocably as an Apostle.  He has personally seen Jesus.  Also, there are disciples in his life that testify to his service to the King. 

Leadership always has its enemies.  Paul had opposers in his life.  Critics took issue with Paul benefiting from those in the church.  None of these negative voices considered the practical option for Paul and Barnabas.

Like most careless talkers, the criticisms leveled against Paul were nonsensical.  Laid against reason the allegations made no sense.  The principle of pay for service is a Divinely approved.  As an apostle, compensation for service was right.

There was an understanding among the people of God in an agrarian society.  They even let the animals eat while they were laboring.  Common sense should tell all that those who labor in the church should also have that privilege.

If a greater service in the spiritual is provided, then a lesser benefit is well within reason.  Financial compensation is the lessor of the two.  Christians who benefit spiritually from its leaders should take care of the material needs of their spiritual overseers.

Public service providers are a good example.  In our modern-day we all appreciate our brave firefighters and law enforcement personnel.  Since we benefit from their services we all willing pay our taxes to give them a comfortable living in return.  This same reason should be the baseline for our spiritual servants in the church.

Paul willingly and deliberately chose not to use this right.  He did not want to hinder the gospel of Christ.   The very distraction that he is discussing is the one that he wanted to avoid.  It was more important to him to set aside compensation and personal rights in order to lessen any distraction from the Gospel of Christ.

God laid out a practice for the priests.  Their compensation came from the sacrifices brought to the Temple.  The priests were allowed to eat their food from the offerings brought for sacrifice. 

Just as the priests of the Temple were beneficiaries of the service that they provided for worshippers, Paul and those who served in the church have the right for a similar benefit.  This is beyond common sense. It is a command from the Lord

Christians should take care of their spiritual leaders.  Make sure that as they do the spiritual work you care for their living needs.  Be generous as they are generous with you.  God will bless you.

 1 corinthians 9.1-14

photo credit: google image